I got tagged by Jenelle Schmidt to join in this blogging challenge. At first, I really didn't think I'd be able to contribute enough interesting stuff to fill an entire blog post. I mean, I know we authors joke a lot about our strange browser searches, but surely I haven't actually googled anything that strange, right?
Well, a look back through my Google searches proved me wrong. When you write in the fairy tale genre like I do, you have to do a TON of research–usually to make sure you're not doing some “clever twist” on a fairy tale that's already been done a bazillion times by other people. So I have definitely given the NSA a lot of entertainment. They really should lower my taxes or something in exchange. It's only fair.
So, to start off, here are the rules:
- Access your browser history
- Pick at least 5 of your strangest searches you’ve had to look up as a writer
- List them below with an explanation as to why you had to look them up
- Tag 2-5 other bloggers
And here are a few of my more unique googlings:
how to make a golem
The frustrating thing is that most of the results for this search were related to Minecraft. Thank you, gaming community, but I want to know how to make an ACTUAL golem. This was partly for the character of Linus in The Tomb of the Sea Witch and partly for a short story that I ended up not even using golems for. Either way, the precise method of creating them didn't actually find its way into any of my writing…or at least, it hasn't yet. I may still need to draw on that useful bit of knowledge someday.
child-stealing magical creatures
I wasn't actually trying to summon one of these in real life. Though there have been many occasions when that would have been handy, particularly in restaurants and on airplanes. Sadly, I didn't stumble across any “bugbears for hire” websites in my searches. But a bugbear does make an appearance in a short story I'm working on. Despite the macabre Google search, it's probably the most light-hearted thing I've ever written.
All I got were pictures of mermaid-themed dresses. What I wanted was fantasy artwork depicting clothed merfolk of some kind. I ended up having to design these concepts on my own. (Someday I'll post drawings.) The mermaids in The Tomb of the Sea Witch don't run around in seashell bras, and the mer-guys aren't perpetually shirtless. They've all got armor-like clothing along the lines of the Roman/Greek themed costumes in Wonder Woman.
I wanted to see if anybody had created a character like this before. Naturally, they had. Not that that really matters, but I still tweaked the concept a little.
Aha, that one was definitely original. Look for this character in an upcoming Wattpad story. (More news on that soon.)
are there any cool names that game of thrones hasn't already taken
Just something I googled in frustration after a long day of name-storming. In the end, I still used “Blackfire” as Malcolm's last name. Do your worst, George R.R. Martin.
Hooray, a word that nobody else has thought of yet! In this case, a fictional plant name.
how to fire a shotgun
I've actually done this, but I still wanted to make sure I was describing it properly. I used this for a scene in Tomb involving Cordelia (one of my favorite Cordelia moments, actually).
difference between a dryad and a hamadryad
I looked this up while I was researching to write the character of Sylvia in Tomb. I thought hamadryads were just male dryads. Wrong! While dryads are just spirits of trees in general, a hamadryad is bonded to a single, individual tree and dies if that tree is cut. Ain't mythology somethin'? (For the record, Sylvia is not a hamadryad, and can jump from tree to tree at will. Lucky for her.)
is cardiff stinky
Probably one of my goofiest searches in recent weeks. I was doing research for the city of Gwydiff, capital of Rhiannon. This is the Afterverse version of Cardiff, capital of Wales. I wanted Gwydiff to be smelly, and I was hoping the actual Cardiff was also smelly so that I wouldn't be offending any patriotic Welsh folk. I've never had an angry mob of Welsh people descend upon my house, but I'm guessing it wouldn't be fun. Anyhoo, I never really figured out what Cardiff smelled like. Oh well.
And that's all I can come up with for now, but as I continue to google wacky stuff all the time, I'd love to do this again someday.
Now to tag some other blog people:
Pretty sure I'm forgetting somebody awesome. If you are that person, feel free to join in this challenge! Or share your own crazy searches in the comments.